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'Concerning trend' Coronavirus Ireland: One death and 765 new Covid-19 cases confirmed with 'sharp' rise in hospitalisations

"Hospitalisations have increased sharply in the last two days. This is a concerning trend which reflects the sharp increase incidence we saw in the last 10 days."

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Adhere: Dr Tony Holohan urged public to stay vigilant. Picture: Collins

Adhere: Dr Tony Holohan urged public to stay vigilant. Picture: Collins

Colin Keegan

Adhere: Dr Tony Holohan urged public to stay vigilant. Picture: Collins

Another person who contracted Covid-19 has died while there have been 765 new cases of coronavirus, the Department of Health confirmed today.

It brings the death toll to 2,205 while the total number of confirmed cases now stands at 86,894.

As of 2pm today, 359 people are currently in hospital with the illness, 30 of whom are in ICU. 41 were hospitalised in the last 24 hours, with five additional admissions to ICU.

The breakdown of cases is as follows:

  • 401 are men / 358 are women
  • 70% are under 45 years of age
  • The median age is 33 years old
  • 291 are in Dublin, 63 in Cork, 59 in Monaghan, 49 in Louth, 43 in Meath, and the remaining 260 cases are spread across all other counties.

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Concern: Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Concern: Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Colin Keegan

Concern: Chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan. Photo: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Chief ,Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said: "Today we are reporting that we have now exceeded the cumulative number of people hospitalised in this third wave than in the second. Hospitalisations have increased sharply in the last two days. This is a concerning trend which reflects the sharp increase incidence we saw in the last 10 days.

"We are also seeing a steep rise in the positivity rates in community testing with a seven day average of over 9.2 percent up from 5.2 percent on 18th December. This indicates that the virus is increasing its foothold out in our communities.

"This is just one more reason why we are strongly advising everyone to stay safely at home to avoid transmitting or catching this virus, as it continues to circulate widely."

Meanwhile, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has said lockdown restrictions could be in place for another "few months" in a bid to halt the surge in cases.

Mr Vardkar suggested that restrictions need to be sustainable instead of lifting and re-introducing restrictions as cases rise and fall.

"There will be a case of saying to the Irish people, you know, perhaps we should keep these restrictions in place until such a time as we have protected our healthcare workers and our most vulnerable,” he said on RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland.

"But again, that speaks to a separate issue that if restrictions are going to be in place for a prolonged period, not a few weeks but maybe a few months, they need to be ones that are sustainable.”

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